Masters of Doom, David Kushner (6/10)
A story about how two nerds built iconic video games while eating pizza, got rich, and saw their friendship crumble
Read More on Goodreads
🚀 The Book in 3 Sentences
- A story about how two nerds built iconic video games while eating pizza, got rich, and saw their friendship crumble
- Offers insight into the development of the first-person shooter genre and the gaming industry in the 1990s
- Follows the stories of John Carmack and John Romero, the creators of Doom and Quake – from their early passion for gaming to the founding of id Software
- Masters of Doom tells the story of id Software, the company that built classic PC games including Wolfenstein 3D, Doom, and Quake, and its two founders, John Carmack and John Romero.
- The overarching story is reminiscent of Jobs-Wozniack, Zuckerberg-Saverin, etc. – two rebellious nerds become bffs and passionately build something incredible, only to realize their values are extremely different and break up. Naturally, this book serves as a valuable piece of gaming history, capturing the zeitgeist of a rapidly evolving industry. It's well-researched and accessible. But I found it a pretty terrible read. It just spoke about the two Johns' antics, eating pizza, staying up late at night, and the inner team's social, psychological, and interpersonal dynamics. There was very little information on business or technology development that I would usually have found very interesting.
🥰 Who Would Like It?
- People interested in the history of the (video) gaming industry
☘️ Top Lessons
- Passion and dedication are key drivers of success in any field
- Collaboration can lead to great achievement, only when/if open, efficient, and effective communication is maintained and expectations are managed to avoid conflicts
- Unchecked ego and ambition is a recipe for disaster
💬 Top 3 Quotes
- In the information age, the barriers just aren't there. The barriers are self-imposed
- The beauty of open source is that it allows the hacker ethic to flourish, an ethic in which information is meant to be shared, not hoarded
- For both of them, creating games was not just about the game, but about the making of something new